On Saturday 10 September 2022, the Aidan O'Brien-trained "Luxembourg" won the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in Co. Dublin, Ireland, a fourth consecutive win in this race for the trainer.
"Luxembourg", ridden by jockey Ryan Moore (also his 4th win in this race), pipped Onesto (winner of the Grand Prix de Paris) by half a length, Vadeni (the pre-race favourite at 7/4) and Mishriff; "Luxembourg" only returned to racing last month after a lengthy injury lay-off, with a win at the Curragh.
The race is classified as a Group 1 flat horse race in Ireland and is open to horses aged at least three years old; it is run over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 metres) each year in September.
The event was established in 1976, and it was initially held at Leopardstown as the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes. In 1984, the race was transferred to Phoenix Park and renamed the Phoenix Champion Stakes. When the Phoenix Park racecourse closed in 1991, the race returned to Leopardstown and has since been known as the Irish Champion Stakes.
Interviewed by RTE, Aidan O'Brien stated "It was unbelievable from a lot of people (to get the horse back) and Ryan gave him an incredible ride. We felt going to the Curragh (for the Royal Whip) that he was only ready for a racecourse gallop. He couldn’t come here unless he’d had a race, and that’s why we were so happy with him at the Curragh. He had 20 to 30% to improve from the Curragh, and you usually don’t run a race in a Group race like that. The plan and the dream was, if we could get him back, we’d mapped out three races for him – if we could get him to the Curragh he could come here and if he came here he could go to the Arc. The pace was solid and it was an even pace. He’s obviously a very good horse. Ryan nearly fell off him in the Guineas (after stumbling leaving the stalls) and he was only beaten a couple of lengths. He had to be a bit different to do what he did in the Guineas. He wasn’t surrendering at the line today and he could be better over a mile and a half. His head was in the cooker a long way up that straight and he didn’t stop. Ryan was very impressed and he’s not an optimist by nature! Usually if he’s a little bit impressed that will do. I don’t think we have had an atmosphere at a Flat meeting in Ireland like this in a long time. He got applauded as he went out which is very rare."